Mustang, BMW join series

FORD'S new Mustang musclecar, BMW's fastest coupe, Mitsubishi's world rally-winning sedan and the most powerful-ever Holden will star among more than 30 different models racing in 2001 in the most competitive season yet of the Century Batteries ...

FORD'S new Mustang musclecar, BMW's fastest coupe, Mitsubishi's world rally-winning sedan and the most powerful-ever Holden will star among more than 30 different models racing in 2001 in the most competitive season yet of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship.

The multi-million dollar championship pits virtually showroom-standard passenger cars in the ultimate test of performance and reliability. It will run over eight rounds in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

The heaviest action is expected to be in the first of five classes, where Ford, Holden, BMW, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru will be represented by some of the newest and most exciting road cars for sale in Australia.

Four examples of the Bathurst-winning Holden Commodore HSV GTS 300i are being prepared, while Ford will rejoin the battle against its traditional adversary with the 5.4 litre Mustang Cobra RA, a model which marks the legendary American musclecar's official return to Australia after more than 35 years.

Details of the Mustang Cobra campaign are still to be announced, but it is believed to include a leading V8 Supercar driver behind the wheel.

The fastest regular production model in the German BMW stable, the sophisticated M3, will be entered by up to two teams, while two other outfits are upgrading to the track version of Mitsubishi's world rally championship winner, the Lancer RS Evolution VI.

Also set for the first appearance of the High Performance class cars in April are the Honda S2000, Nissan 200SX R-Spec, Subaru Impreza WRX STi and Mazda RX-7 Twin Turbo.

However, last season's most successful performers are staying with proven machinery in the hope of making a strong start to the 2001 pointscore.

Series champion Mark King will return in his Lancer RS Evo V, while Ed Aitken will run his Bathurst 3-Hour winning Commodore GTS 300i, upgraded from VTII to the latest VX specification.

-Chris Nixon

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